How To Replace a Car Antenna

Updated: Jun. 18, 2024

Repair most auto antenna types yourself for less than $20

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Time

1 hour or less

Complexity

Intermediate

Cost

$20

Introduction

Need to fix a bent or broken antenna? That problem goes back as far as car radios and marauding teenagers. Repair most types of bent auto antennas for less than $20 in parts. You can easily fix both pillar-mount and fixed-mast antennas.

Tools Required

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Lineman's pliers

Materials Required

  • Electrical tape
  • Replacement antenna

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

Identify Your Antenna Type

The two most common antenna styles are “pillar mounts,” which slide in and out of the top of door pillars, and “fixed masts,” which are nonretractable and mounted on fenders. (We won’t include power antennas here.) Both styles are easy to fix yourself. Start the repair by buying a replacement unit (less than $20) from an auto parts store.

Step 2

How to Repair Pillar-Mount Antennas

New pillar-mount antennas come with the coaxial cables already attached. So after you unscrew and pull out the old unit, cut the old cable and use it to fish the new cable through the pillar to the radio. (Splicing the old cable to the new one isn’t recommended; you may get radio interference.) Be careful! If the splice comes apart inside the pillar, you’ll have to remove the pillar trim to fish the new cable. Form a hook in the old cable, loop a picture-hanging wire through it and wrap it with tape for added insurance. To hook up the new cable, you’ll have to remove the car radio.

How To Guide For Car Antenna ReplacementTMB STUDIOTMB STUDIO

Step 3

How to Repair Fixed-Mast Antennas

Fixed-mast antennas are much easier to replace. Buy a universal kit (about $15) from any auto parts store. To install the new mast, just unscrew the bent mast with an adjustable wrench and replace it with the new one. You may have to install an adapter (included in the kit) to match the thread size.

How To Guide For Car Antenna ReplacementTMB STUDIOTMB STUDIO